The Forum, LA

There couldn’t of been a more prestigious way to finish off such an incredible tour than two nights at The Forum…. We’d travelled thousands of miles around this vast and varied American landscape and it seemed appropriate that we ended up in California not far from where we began over 10 weeks earlier.

On entering the venue, we passed a huge wall with all the names of every artist and band to have graced this stage in the past.  Steve performed here with Blind Faith way back in the late 60s and then returned as a solo act in the 80s at the height of his fame in the USA.  

The room itself has excellent natural acoustics due mainly to the fact that it remains solely a place for musical performance and not a multi-purpose venue.  The band loved the sound over the two shows!

The dressing rooms were rather plush compared to our usual digs!  Bo made full use of the massage chair while Tom got to work organising some of our equipment ready for air freight…

I was fortunate enough to accompany Steve as he said his final goodbyes to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.  It was a genuine pleasure to witness how much respect and admiration they have for Steve as an artist and a person.  We work everyday with him and can find ourselves in a bubble where we forget how far reaching his influence on musical history has been!  It was a pleasure to be a part of this tour and to hear so many classic songs every evening! 

Here is to another fabulous tour!!!!!

Santa Monica, CA

The water was warm, there were some decent waves in Newport for JT and we made ourselves at home in this great spot 10 miles west of LA.

James and Tom went along to a big music tech conference up in Hollywood while I headed to The Fonda Theatre to catch a band I’d been wanting to see back in the UK for years.

A few of us explored some of the famous skateboarding landmarks located along Santa Monica and Venice beach.  This region was where vertical skateboarding truly began led by the inspirational Z Boys team.  

Anaheim, CA

We arrived at the Honda Center; home to The Anaheim Ducks and just across the road from the LA Angels stadium.  Once again the band were about to step out and perform at another legendary American sporting arena!  There was a great feeling of anticipation in the lead up to the show with a mere three gigs left until that long ride home!

There were plenty of visitors backstage prior to showtime, most notably Tori our amazing driver from the first six weeks of tour. It was wonderful to see here back with the Winwood gang!

As we headed into the night back to our Santa Monica hotel, we toasted another successful concert and looked forward to two well deserved days off on the beach!

San Jose, CA
We returned to the sun-drenched west coast once again.  The tour has almost come full circle as we find ourselves a few hundred miles north of our starting point all those weeks ago!
After finding this cool BBQ joint with the brilliant name ‘Hi Life’, we went about preparing for another arena show!

San Jose, CA

We returned to the sun-drenched west coast once again.  The tour has almost come full circle as we find ourselves a few hundred miles north of our starting point all those weeks ago!

After finding this cool BBQ joint with the brilliant name ‘Hi Life’, we went about preparing for another arena show!

St George, Utah

We returned to this great little town which is tucked away in the scorching Utah desert.  This place has been our go-to location for splitting up the big drives from Colorado to California.  We all piled into a diner for a much-needed breakfast before hitting the hotel pool!

In the evening we all headed over to ‘Ninja’ Habachi restaurant for an entertaining meal.  Everyone needed some time away from the cramped bus environment before the long ride to San Jose!!

Red Rocks, Day 2 and 3!

Day 2 was a tough one to get through as the mountain weather continually frowned upon us.  All our gear was covered up until show time after we’d face a constant battle to keep it as dry and safe as possible! Red Rocks is so exposed and the weather can change in minutes… It was a huge relief to finish the gig and the get the truck loaded before cruising back to Denver for another day off.

Day 3

JT and I managed to finally get out onto one of the local trail routes around the venue.  We didn’t see any mountain lions or rattlesnakes and made it back in time for sound check! Steve and the band were joined by Mike Campbell for an epic version of ‘Had to cry today’.  It was another tour highlight to see Steve and Mike trading riffs together in the magical Red Rocks setting.  

We were all sad to leave this incredible place but California was now calling!!

Red Rocks, CO

Gig one of three!!

When the gig listing first appeared before heading out on tour, this run of three shows at Red Rocks instantly stood out to everyone! It is a venue enshrined in musical history dating back from as early as 1900 when John Brisben Walker first visualised an outdoor performing space which took advantage of the natural acoustics at Red Rocks.

Over the decades it has hosted multiple famous concerts.  The full list is displayed in one of the main backstage corridors and is rather breathtaking.  It was interesting to hear from Steve after the show that this was his first ever Red Rocks gig!!  Throughout the day it seemed all of us were determined to take in as much of the atmosphere as possible in this epic amphitheatre.  Tom, JT, James and Pete (Our driver) are shown above savouring the sights and sounds of this high altitude musical mecca.

More photos from the mighty Red Rocks to follow in the next entry…

BOK Arena, Tulsa, OK

We reached the end of our mammoth four gig run in Tulsa on the plains of Oklahoma.  This is a city full of rich musical history and the birthplace of many legendary figures such as the marvellous JJ Cale!

Cafe and Bo made the most of some spare time to fit in power naps before show time!

There was a collective feeling of relief and joy as we packed the truck, climbed aboard our bus and hit the road north towards Denver.  

'Mile High City' was to be our home for the next five days!

Fort Worth, TX
This was a Winwood first as the band were set to play at Fort Worth Zoo of all places!  In amongst the Petty schedule this one-off show had been included and offered a different vibe for the guys.  There was the scary prospect of a 5 minute changeover before the next band… We just made it!!
Oklahoma was next on the list!

Fort Worth, TX

This was a Winwood first as the band were set to play at Fort Worth Zoo of all places!  In amongst the Petty schedule this one-off show had been included and offered a different vibe for the guys.  There was the scary prospect of a 5 minute changeover before the next band… We just made it!!

Oklahoma was next on the list!

American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

This was one of the biggest and most imposing arenas on the tour by some distance.  It is the home of ‘Dallas Stars’ ice hockey team but for one day only it was to be our work space…

Steve and JT killed some time in the morning with a workout on the exercise bikes in our dressing room.  You would be amazed by how little we properly exercise whilst out on the road!  

The venues was fairly close to the infamous ‘Dealey Plaza’ where JFK was tragically assassinated in 1963.  A few of us made the short trip to visit this world famous spot where we took a few moments to remember that tragic day.  Sometimes we never make it out of the venue on gig days but every so often we find ourselves so close to significant landmarks such as this that we make time to experience them.  These are some of the moments when we realise how lucky we are to be seeing so much of America and it’s history, both good and bad.

On returning to the arena I noticed that JT had included Tom and I on the Stars’s line up on our wall! We briefly shared a space with some of the NHL’s finest names!!

The show was a blast and we headed to Fort Worth knowing we were half way through the busiest run of the tour…